Wat Phanan Choeng is a Buddhist temple in the city of Ayutthaya, Thailand. The city of Ayutthaya was the capital of the Siamese kingdom of Ayutthaya that existed from 1351 to 1767. Wat Phanan Choeng was built in 1324, approximately 26 years before the city of Ayutthaya was officially founded. The temple is located at the junction of the Chao Phraya and the Pa Sak Rivers.
The golden Buddha, which for many, is the main draw to the temple, is made of brick, mortar and stucco. It measures 14.25 meters (46.75 feet) from knee to knee and 19 meters (62.34 feet) in height. It has undergone reconstruction a number of times, I believe the most recent being in the late 1920s.
It’s difficult to describe the initial feeling of standing before the golden Buddha of Wat Phanan Choeng.
Nothing comes to mind, which perhaps, may be considered a beautiful predicament. When I fully experience anything, I occasionally fail to conjure words to describe the moment as I was too consumed by the experience itself. I was living it, void of mental chatter, void of anything but direct expression that can’t be contained by words. Thus, thinking about it in retrospect and awarding syllables to describe it, sometimes, are impossible tasks.
What happened when I first stood before the golden Buddha of Wat Phanan Choeng? I’m not completely certain, but I suspect I was briefly sucked out of, what may be attributed to, conventional notions of time.
How did I feel after that initial instance? Grateful for having had the experience.
Wat Phanan Choeng Visitor Information
Hours of Operation: Open daily from 8:00 am – 5.00 pm
Address: Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phra NakhonSi Ayutthaya
Tel: +66 3524 1708
Admission Fee: 20 THB for foreigners, free for Thais